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Austin has experienced growth but some constituencies have been left behind. What is your vision for the City’s role in funding/supporting the nonprofit network that provide much needed social services? What is your plan for addressing disparities and inequities in our community?

Kathie Tovo

City Council, District 9

I have been a champion for increasing our city’s investments in health and social services. I believe that having a strong network of collaborative public and private entities is the most effective strategy for addressing our social services needs – and I have a proven record of success in this area. As a Council Member, I chaired the Membership Council for the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), the lead agency coordinating the public and non-profit services within Austin’s overall homelessness strategy. I have served on the Community Advancement Network as a community member and as a Council appointee and currently serve on advisory councils for the Settlement Home and Partnerships for Children. In terms of addressing inequities in our community, I believe we need to ensure that our policies and programs are consistent with our values and that we are committing real resources towards improving equity outcomes. I have a strong record on both of these strategies, including working to: create the Equity Assessment Tool for City staff to use to evaluate how our policies and programs impact socio-economic and race-based inequities, direct the City Manager to work with the Equity Office to research best practices for hiring executive-level positions in a way that reflects Austin’s diversity, update the City’s benchmark data on disparities in our community, and prioritize investing more resources in services for vulnerable residents, such as for individuals experiencing homelessness. Going forward, I will continue to be a strong, consistent advocate for collaborating with, supporting, and funding our nonprofit social service providers.